Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Lost Sheep

“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance" (Luke 15:4-7).

Jesus came for the sinners. He saves the wandering sheep at all costs. He would even leave behind 99 obedient sheep to pursue a single lost one.

This is great knowledge for the sinners. God loves us. He will do anything to bring us back to His side. He will not stop pursuing us, and He will rejoice when are once again following Him. But what about the 99 other sheep who did nothing wrong? Does Jesus not care about them? Why would He leave them to pursue one sinner? Are they getting the short end of the stick in this deal?

No. The answer lies in Isaiah 53:6.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

Each and every one of us, at some point in our lives, is that lost sheep. There is no way to get around this. We are human. We sin and fall short and wander away from God time and time again. Thankfully for us, we have a God who is willing to do anything for us, despite our past errors. He will chase after us, and, for a time, we will rejoin the 99 obedient sheep. Soon, however, we will wander off once again. And once again, Jesus will call us back to His side. That is the beauty of God's grace: it is limitless.

Treat your neighbor as you would want to be treated. It feels good knowing that Jesus would drop everything to come rescue you. It should also feel good to know that He would do the same for another wandering sheep. He would do whatever it takes for that sinner, even if it means leaving you alone for a brief moment (though you will never truly be alone).

We wander. Each and every one of us. But God brings us back to Him--or at least He tries to. The beauty of God's love is that, despite our disregard for God's will, Jesus pursues us. When we are one of the 99, we lead lives focused solely on God's plan for us. When we are that one lost sheep, God invites us to change our ways and return to Him and to the flock of joyous believers.

Jesus loves the sinner. He will do anything for that sinner, for that single lost sheep, for you and for me. He will do anything because we are worth it. We are the reason He came.

No comments:

Post a Comment